Henry Schein, Internet Brands form dental-software focused JV Henry Schein One

Henry Schein (NSDQ:HSIC) said yesterday that it and Internet Brands formed joint venture Henry Schein One, which aims to produce integrated dental technology focused on improving practice management, marketing and patient communication.

The deal was originally announced on April 3, Melville, N.Y.-based Henry Schein said, and financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

“With the creation of Henry Schein One, we have advanced our dental business strategy by bringing together leaders in dental software and web-based applications to build a powerful new engine that will enable dental professionals to be more efficient and to enhance their ability to deliver high-quality care to patients. We firmly believe that the products, services, and solutions we will deliver through our combined expertise are fundamental to what practitioners value and essential to driving demand for their business success,” Henry Schein CEO & board chair Stanley Bergman said in a press release.

The joint venture combines Henry Schein’s Practice Solutions products and services including Dentrix, Dentrix Ascend, Easy Dental and TechCentral and its international dental practice management systems including its Software of Excellence, Logiciel Julie, InfoMed, Exan and Labnet. Internet Brands will supply its dental business, including web-based Demandforce, Sesame Communications, Officite and DentalPlans.com, the companies said.

“With Henry Schein One, we intend to leverage Henry Schein’s strength in practice management software with our leading digital marketing applications to help each member of the dental team work smarter and faster to improve the practice and the entire patient experience. We are very excited about what we can do together to strengthen and expand our combined product offerings to enable dental teams to be better business managers, clinicians to be more efficient, and patients more loyal to the practice,” Internet Brands CEO Bob Brisco said in a prepared release.

The newly formed JV had pro-forma 2017 sales of approximately $400 million, with $100 million coming from Internet Brands’ dental biz, Henry Schein said. The company hopes to realize between $20 million and $30 million in annual synergies by the end of its third year.

Henry Schein will maintain a more-than 70% ownership position with senior managers from both companies serving on the board. The company is slated to be headquartered in American Fork, Utah.

“Henry Schein One’s vision is to deliver technology innovation to improve every aspect of practice management. We plan to connect our existing and future portfolio of practice technology and products so it all works together as one integrated system to automate more tasks and simplify the digital workflow,” Henry Schein One CEO and former Henry Schein CTO James Harding said in prepared remarks.

In May, Henry Schein saw shares fall despite the medical device maker beating expectations on Wall Street with its first quarter 2018 earnings release.

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Align Technology expands iTero distro, integration deal with Glidewell


Align Technology

Align Technology (NSDQ:ALGN) said today it expanded a distribution deal with Glidewell Dental to distribute Align’s iTero Element intraoral scanning system in North America.

Through the deal, San Jose, Calif.-based Align’s said its iTero Element scanner will feature Glidewell’s fastdesign.io software which serves to auto-design restorations for clinician approval and to communicate with a lab’s digital design technicians as needed.

“This is an exciting opportunity to join together to deliver a restorative work flow driven by digital precision and enabling the growth of digital dentistry. This collaboration makes same-day restorations more efficient and accessible for our joint customers, and also introduces the benefits of iTero scanning to the more than 50,000 dentists using Glidewell services,” Align chief marketing officer Raphael Pascaud said in a prepared statement.

Align Technology said it expects the iTero Element with Glidewell’s technology to be available during the 1st quarter of 2018.

“Align has long been at the forefront of digital dental technology. Their pioneering spirit and drive for continued innovation are very much in line with Glidewell Dental’s goal to remove barriers to patient treatment, and I couldn’t be more excited about this dynamic pairing,” Glidewell Dental founder & prez Jim Glidewell said in a press release.

In late October, Align saw shares rise over 15% after the orthodontic device maker beat expectations on Wall Street with its third quarter results.

Align Tech-backed SmileDirectClub levies lawsuits against critical dentists, orthodontists


Smile Direct Club

The Align Technology (NSDQ:ALGN) backed SmileDirectClub is reportedly sending cease-and-desist letters to dentists who criticize its products, according to a BuzzFeed report.

The company sent at least 2 cease-and-desist letters last month, threatening lawsuits if dentists did not remove videos they’d posted criticizing the practice of do-it-yourself clear teeth aligners, according to the report.

The cease-and-desist letters join a lawsuit from late October that the company levied against a group of New York and New Jersey orthodontists who posted a similar video, and a suit against a Michigan affiliate of the American Dental Association over a publication the group published in a monthly journal, BuzzFeed reports.

The claims vary but centrally argue that the dentists are part of a “well-funded lobbying and public relations effort” trying to shut it down, according to the report.

“Several dentists and orthodontists have made publicly false, disparaging and misleading statements on various social media websites regarding SmileDirectClub all in an effort to protect their traditional business model and to limit access of care to keep prices for orthodontic care artificially inflated. SmileDirectClub has pursued legal remedies to prevent these dentists and orthodontists from making false, disparaging and misleading statements regarding SmileDirectClub,” a Smile Direct Club spokesperson said in an emailed statement to BuzzFeed.

According to the report, the dentists claim to be merely expressing their professional opinions on the clear orthodontic devices.

BuzzFeed originally broke the story on the cease-and-desist letters in mid-October, detailing the story of orthodontist Jeffrey Miller. Miller also received a cease-and-desist letter, which he ignored, and was followed by a letter declaring the company’s intent to sue him and his practice for damages of more than $34 million, “plus punitive damages of not less than three times that amount,” according to the report.

The report detailed a number of other groups and private practices that received cease-and-desist letters, as well as organizations which have presented opposition to SmileDirectClub.

Earlier this month, the ADA released its own resolution which “strongly discourages” the practice of do-it-yourself orthodontics, referencing potential harm to patients from delayed and reduced visits to dentists.

In the resolution, the ADA states that it “believes that supervision by a licensed dentist is necessary for all phase of orthodontic treatment including oral examinations, periodontal examinations, radiographic examinations, study models of scans of the mouth, treatment planning and prescriptions, periodic progress assessments and final assessments with stabilizing measures.”

“Patients are being inundated with direct marketing campaigns encouraging them to initiate and manage their own orthodontic treatment. These campaigns are operating in multiple media outlets, including online, billboards and television ads. This year’s ADA House of Delegates recognized the need for the ADA, as America’s leading advocate for oral health, to take steps to educate patients about the potential pitfalls of self-managed orthodontic treatment. This new policy supports the importance of dentists being in charge of diagnosing and treating patients to ensure the safe delivery of appropriate care,” ADA council on dental practice chair Dr. Craig Ratner said in an ADA release.

Biolase seeks up to $12m with rights offering

BiolaseBiolase (NSDQ:BIOL) said today that it’s hoping to raise up to $12 million with a rights offering that’s already guaranteed to bring in $6 million.

The Irvine, Calif.-based dental laser maker said it hopes the offering will bring in at least $8 million, noting that affiliates of Larry Feinberg and Jack Schuler have each pledged to at least $3 million apiece. The exact pricing and number of shares involved have not been determined.

Last month Biolase posted a 134% increase in second-quarter net losses, which reach -$8.3 million, or -12¢ per share, on a -8.7% sales decline to $12.6 million compared with Q2 2016.

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How squid ink could make going to the dentist painless

[Image from unsplash.com]

Squid ink could be used as a new imaging method at the dentist to check for gum disease, according to new research from the University of California at San Diego.

Align Technology inks sales deal with Zfx

Align Technology

Align Technology (NSDQ:ALGN) said today it inked a sales agreement with Zfx GmbH to expand the sales of its iTero Element intraoral scanners in European, Asian and African countries.

Through the non-exclusive deal, Zfx will act as a sales agent for the company’s iTero Element intraoral scanners amongst its network of customers, including laboratories, milling centers and dental professionals.

“The addition of iTero intraoral scanners with the Zfx digital restorative platform exemplifies our shared commitment to provide digital restorative solutions and efficiency to dental professionals. Through this relationship clinicians and laboratory technicians will be further enabled to produce high-quality dental prosthetics for their patients,” Align Tech chief marketing officer Raphael Pascaud said in a prepared statement.

The iTero scanners will allow users in Zfx-supported regions to use Zfx’s preferred digital milling and laboratory services, Align Technology said.

“Zfx provides unparalleled flexibility in the digital manufacturing of dental prostheses with an extensive portfolio of CAD/CAM components and milling solutions. Our integration and sales agent representation of iTero Element intraoral scanners further diversifies this portfolio,” Zfx managing director Oliver Hill said in a press release.